Goodreads ~ Spenser earned his degree in the school of hard knocks, so he is ready when a Boston university hires him to recover a rare, stolen manuscript. He is hardly surpised that his only clue is a radical student with four bullets in his chest.
The cops are ready to throw the book at the pretty blond coed whose prints are all over the murder weapon but Spenser knows there are no easy answers. He tackles some very heavy homework and knows that if he doesn't finish his assignment soon, he could end up marked "D" - for dead.
Spenser is a private investigator in Boston. He has been hired by the president of a university to recover the Godwulf Manuscript, a medieval book of great historical and literary importance, which is being held for ransom for $100,000. The head of campus security suggests investigating a radical student group and their secretary, Terry Orchard.
After talking to Terry and her boyfriend, Dennis, Dennis ends up murdered and Terry is framed for the murder. As Spenser investigates to find out where the manuscript is and who killed Dennis, he discovers there may be mob and drug connections.
This is the first in the Spenser series (there are currently 46, with the last six written by Ace Atkins after Parker's death in 2010). I've read many in the series over the years and I can't remember where I'd jumped in. I know I hadn't started at the beginning so that's why I decided to read number one. For the most part, I've enjoyed this series. Spenser's girlfriend, Susan, hasn't entered the storyline at this point ... I find her extremely annoying.
I liked the writing style ... I find it humorous at times. It's written in first person perspective in Spenser's voice. Spenser is a tough guy with a wisecracking sense of humour. I bet he'd be a fun guy to sit and have a beer with. It was interesting to read a book that was written and set in the early 1970s. How times have changed! No Internet, no cell phones, hippies, no tolerance for gays and people were smoking anytime and anywhere. As a head's up, there is some swearing.